By day three of being out here I found the crown jewel of Tumbleweed festival to be the fans and the friendships forming here, this is quickly becoming JUST LIKE any other festival, having faithful followers and fans. If you don’t really know music slang terms a “Rail Rider” is a gal that is can always be found along the front rails of the concert. AND NEVER MOVES, now then you got your music chicks that constantly move all over. They aren’t there for the music they are there to be seen, those aren’t REAL Rail Riders those are music chicks. There’s a huge difference, both are needed and supportive of the local music scene but the rail riders are true warriors that brave the sun and heat.

I need to publicly apologize to Mr. Damien Gunn for missing his set today, I had other matters going on at this time and wasn’t able to catch his set. I did however get the chance to see him play at night.

As my job as a media person I NOTICE THINGS and I watch for things happening while the crowd watches the music. Because the pickpockets and merch thieves WANT YOU to look away while they pull their bullshit. IT IS MY JOB to help Mr. Doug make this a safe and fun experience for everyone. There was no reason for bullshit here, and I’m WELL TRAINED to see these things. This guy up here looked shifty but he turned out to be ok…(just kidding).

I watched this young lady brave the heat and enjoy the music and I saw it touch her soul. Miss Kaeleigh Grace was her name and she was by far the coolest person there, and one of the prettiest people I have run across in many years. Just to witness her passion raises my hopes even more that people like Mr.Colter Wall will move up to another echelon of commercial exposure because of her.

Where do I even begin about boasting on Mr. Colter? WHERE?  He is my 2016 Artist Of The Year and he is currently on Young Mary’s Record Company and manged by her as well. She is doing GREAT THING in the music community with many artists. Pictured above on the right is Mr.John Clay who plays drums for the speedy Creek band but also has his own music. He is a power in his own right and you can check out his music by clicking on his name there.

His self titled album was produced by Mr. Dave Cobb and will defiantly grace many TOP 50 lists of this year, the vinyl is back in stock now so go pick that up. He came out and played lone acoustic songs quickly dropping that smooth baritone voice on unsuspecting people in the crowd. I watched people drop drink cups in disbelief from out of this young man so small comes a voice so powerful and poignant.

He played an old Jimmie Rodgers song first, along with “The Devil Wears A Suit And Tie” from his first album Imaginary Appalachia. He played for us the acoustic ballad “Codeine Dream”, which displays truly fine songwriting and paints a picture in your mind.

And then like usual he plays “Thirteen Silver Dollars” while halfway the song the band joins him to embellish the gorgeous vocals.  “My .44” was next as he displayed many different songs in this set, showing us a little taste of the upcoming songs he has planned already. I see longevity in this young man, and he is a beacon of hope for REAL Country Music. Here’s a video from that song folks, I thank him for the verbal permission.

Then he invited Mr. David Vaughn Lindsay whom also released a truly fine EP to come out and sing one of his own called “Taste Of Rain”. That song was therapeutic for him as he recently lost his father and his best friend Mr. Jon. We all gathered years ago to pay our respects for The Colonel Jon Hensley.

This bunch uses one another as stepping stones to further each others music and that’s what this community needs more of, it’s a fraternity NOT a competition or a war. There aren’t too many chiefs and a shortage of Indians here. THEN…THEN he played his crowning achievement as of yet. “Kate McCannon” not only is this an ingenious marketing doorway it is perhaps one of the most well crafted songs I have heard in the last damn decade.

The opening lines about the ravens and the dark and evil way this song pounds this murder ballad into your cranium takes your breath away. This man commands total mental attention from you while he is onstage, he consumes every ounce of your soul and grinds it into pain and injects it back into your blood.

Mr. Colter is in no fashion a cruel person away from the stage, in fact he is one of the most approachable and kind friends I have in the business, I’ll gladly do anything for him and Miss Mary anytime. It was equally pleasant to reunite former band mates Mr. Mike Bulle And Mr. Jason Simpson,who played together for John King and The Mud River Revival.  Truly a mutual respect and love for one another there, Mr. Mike has become a true blessing to me and I couldn’t have done this job to this magnitude without him. Something as simple as driving for us allowing us to work is more needed than he realized.

At this juncture they were coming in by the droves. Absolute madness was pouring into the park like ants after a Popsicle on the sidewalk. Unbelievable the amount of attention this event garnered for being such a drastic turn of format.  I will tell you the main stage went from ONE unique voice to ANOTHER one FAST.

Mr.Paul Cauthen has recently released an album “My Gospel” that also made my TOP 50 of 2016. He displays a VERY RARE vocal ability and carries his notes with power and dignity. I quickly made my way back to the stage to catch ‘Marfa Lights” first.

As you can see,he brings a HUGE entourage to the table wherever he goes. And he is certainly different from any other act we had this weekend. However at the same time he remains relevant to the Americana and Country scene with his multi sounding set.

Plenty of soul and passion encompass his entire arsenal of songs, as he covered “Folsom Prison Blues” in a truly different approach to covering that song. My complaint of too many covers was squelched with his version of it…it was fresh and new.

His backup singer accompanied his vibrato truly well, this young man makes his notes carry through an open field with authority and poise. He was absolutely precise in every point I looked to criticize him on. I can’t hit anything point he failed…none. AT FIRST I had trouble making out his vocals but when I moved it fixed that problem, man he REALLY KILLED IT this weekend.

“Saddle” was next followed by a song he called “Cornbread Moon” if I’m not mistaken he spoke of a new album very soon, but I may have misheard that. “Hanging Out On The line” was next which displayed some more fine songwriting and vibrato.

“Be There Soon” and also included was “I’ll Be The One” was used for closure for this set that finally climaxed with his album title “My Gospel”. This is one of those artists that has NO happy medium, you’ll either LOVE HIM or HATE HIM really. We ALL have our own opinions on music and he is indeed different in his own way, and to me there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

It’s time now for the arrival of the Titans of Country Music here, Legends abound at the gates Mr. Billy Joe shaver stops to tell the security guard a joke, they both laugh and he makes his way up the ramp. You know when you are an Outlaw Legend that’s 78 years old and still playing as many shows as he does you can do pretty much anything.

He came out and stood there for a moment and looked upon the crowd and began the witty quips saying “So I suppose you want me to play some shit for y’all huh?”  “Well, let’s see what I can remember now?” The crowd began to roar in delight to his cussing as he rolled into “Heart Of Texas” and “Going Out Of Style”..(“Fit To Kill”).

I mean when you are HIM you don’t need to blow shit up or run around like a banshee you just stand in one spot and sing. And that’s precisely what Mr. Billy Joe does.  NO frills or fluff just timeless classics like “Honky Tonk Heroes Like Me” that Waylon recorded an entire album of his songs dedicated to him.

He explained to us that he was just “An Old Chuck Of Coal” as he played us classic songs that spanned six decades of his music today, his vocals weathered and worn like his signature denim shirt he wears. Still, despite the aged vocals he possesses an ambiance that rivals none other in music…period.

“Georgia On A Fast Train” was next followed by a story about Dale Watson. He wrote a song about Shaver before asking for permission, and before Mr. Billy went into “Wacko From Waco” he explained the story about him shooting a man “Right between the mother and the fucker”. Yes folks he shot a man and it resulted in the song “Where Do You Want It”?

Well Mr. Dale called and asked if he could write that and Mr. Billy said sure I guess you could, he said well Billy I already wrote it. Before Billy could turn around it was already on XM Radio.

Just as he went into “Black Rose” and his signature song “Thunderbird” a once in a lifetime thing happened for us Tumbleweed attendees…the arrival of the main act. Mr. Jamey Johnson the walking talking controversy that is Jamey Johnson, love him or hate him he is a juggernaut.

he’s been around the block a few times, and appeared to be moving slower in his age as well. He walked out onto the stage and stood there as they sized each other up and pretended to begin to fight. Both truly displayed a mutual respect and admiration for each other right here in Kansas City.

MAN right next to me while you got THAT transpiring you have Mr. Cody Jinks walking around greeting the fans, and you got Mr. Paul Cauthen by the gate greeting people. You got people running every direction in this place! As Mr. Billy is playing “Hard To Be An Outlaw” (When You Aren’t Wanted Anymore), you got so much going on at once…but I got y’all covered.

We had GORGEOUS WEATHER this weekend the Lord truly blessed us with PERFECT weather after an almost HORRID outcome from the weather. The rain was totally gone before the festivities began full scale. And BAM he finally performed my personal favorite song, the Patty Loveless song “Fallen angels Fly”. When my paternal father died this song was played at his funeral, as he he was lowered into the ground.

He finished his set with a story about a woman with “an ass that defies gravity” so he sang “Stop The World” and declared that “I’m Gonna Live Forever”.  Mr. Billy Joe Shaver left us speechless I’m not sure of it was due to the fact that he is still in prime performing condition…or that he can come up there and say fuck fluently at 78.

Here is the online description of the famous shooting incident:

On April 2, 2007, police in Lorena, Texas, issued two arrest warrants for Shaver on charges of aggravated assault and possessing a firearm in a prohibited place. This was in connection with an incident outside a tavern, Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon in Lorena only two days prior, on March 31, in which Shaver shot a man, Billy Bryant Coker, in the face with a handgun. Coker’s injuries, however, were not reported as life-threatening.

Witnesses interviewed by police report hearing Shaver say “where do you want it?” and then, after the shot was fired, “Tell me you are sorry” and “No one tells me to shut up.” Coker told police the attack was unprovoked. Shaver’s attorney declared that Shaver had shot Coker “in self-defense” after Coker threatened Shaver with a knife.

In an August 2014 NPR interview, Shaver said that he shot Coker because he was “Such a bully” and that “I hit him right between a mother and a fucker. That was the end of that. He dropped his weapons and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ And I said, ‘Well, if you had said that inside, there would have been no problem.’

After unsuccessfully attempting to surrender to police in Austin, Texas, who were unaware of the warrant, Shaver turned himself in at McLennan County Jail in Waco, Texas on Tuesday, April 3. He was released after an hour on $50,000 bond and gave his scheduled performance at Waterloo Records in Austin that evening, where he reportedly told fans, “Don’t forget to pray for me, and tell your kids to pray for me, too.”

He was acquitted in a Waco court on April 9, 2010 after testifying that he acted in self-defense.

The Texas-based country musician, Dale Watson, wrote a song about the incident titled “Where Do You Want It?”. The song has been recorded by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s and appears on their self-titled sophomore album, released via Bloodshot Records.

How do you possibly follow THAT? Why with powerhouse Red Dirt warrior Mr. Roger Creager I mean this man is truly an adventurous soul. He does it all from snorkeling with dolphins to jumping out of planes. He took over the stage and followed Mr. Billy Joe shaver quite well.

He opened with “Turn It Up” form the album Surrender from 2011, and followed that up with “Little Bit Of Them All” from the 2104 album Roadshow. I LOVED his song “Wanna Wanna Bar” because of course he mentions GARY. Only I don’t sip on no coke and rum.. I’m not much of a hard liquor man anymore.

“I Got The Gun” was next as well as “Love” from his 2000 album from that same title, he brought his smooth songs to us to break the wilder momentum we had. With beach themed songs like “Cowboys and Sailors” he quickly changed to a ragtime there of New Orleans with “Jambalaya” and “Shreveport To New Orleans” all the way to “When The Saints Go Marching In”.

He THEN went over to Mexico and Tex Mex type material the likes of “Long Way to Mexico” and another song called “Gulf coast Time” the current theme of his new album he just released.

He played songs like “Where The Gringos Don’t Go” and “Different Than I’m Feeling Now”, however my favorite song he plays is the “Everclear Song”. Mr. Roger has so many wonderfully written songs that span so many albums it’s hard to pick and choose which ones complete a perfect set list for him.

On into the night folks as the sun began to set we began to party and eat some AWESOME food. The vendors provided some darn fine vittles while the VIP area enjoyed COLD bathrooms, I wanted to do my taxes in a crapper for the first time in my life. Here is a tour of the sun setting upon us out here folks, YEP the rail riding queen is still here.

Well the Flockers president Mr William Higgins came out with his admins and introduced Mr. Cody Jinks and I interviewed him before the festival, you can read about that HERE.

Mr. Cody Jinks blazed out onto the stage tonight and carried us into the final night and final hours of music here in Kansas City. Right off of Adobe Sessions he played “Momma’s Song” I guess everybody’s mom worries about us, when I first moved down here my mom always sent me money and prayed for me.

He followed that up with “She’s All Mine” and “No Words”. Mr. Cody also spanned his entire repertoire of albums tonight as he belted out song after song of epic greatness, backed by his band the Tone Deaf Hippies. He whipped the entire crowd into a complete frenzy with “Vampires”.

As I previously stated tonight this weekend represented a truly amazing array of backup bands and sidemen. Mr. Austin Tripp is an amazing right arm to Mr. Cody Jinks, and even though the Tone Deaf Hippies have had some amazing steel players through the years Mr. Austin is a crown jewel up there.

“Been Around” was next followed by “Give All you Can” off the new album as he transferred songs from that one and Adobe Sessions like playing “What Else Is New”. Before the greatest spectacle of ALL….THOUSANDS of people all singing “I’m Not The Devil”. When I posed that Mr. Ward Davis commented “That’s all we ever wanted”. I replied that I thought it was one of the most well written songs of the last decade.

“Chase That Song” was followed by the popular “Black Sheep” which I’m pretty sure spawned the name for the Flockers, afterward he played his version of Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am” from the album of the same name released in 1980. He continued his covers with his commercially popular version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. Which when I talked to Mr. Austin in his interview they were surprised how well it was received, you can read that HERE.

“Fast Hand” was next followed by “I’ll Get By” and then they finally played their anthem called “Cast No Stones” which also garnered many thousands of people singing along to those words as well. I mean pretty much everybody can relate to those words. “No Guarantees” was next along with his epic cover of “Black Hole Sun”.

You know folks this man has recently just absolutely blown up in the music scene because of his talent and his real Country Music, but more importantly because of US. The fans decide what sells and what fails, with support of buying stuff and helping them. WHY just today Mr. Austin and Mr.Keith needed help somewhere on the road and one of the Flockers dropped what they were doing and went to help…THAT IS what makes things work!

With that being said I want to THANK my good friend Mr. Derek Weave Weaver and his sidekick Mr. Stonewall the pup for inviting me into their home, driving me around and just welcoming me into their home. I’m touched, I’m humbled and I SHALL return the favor to someone else. You know it doesn’t matter WHAT TYPE of music it is one of you will always have my home, don’t go to Nashville and pay hundreds for a dang hotel room.

As the night settled in we jammed to “Hippies And Cowboys” and waited for the main act of the entire festival the giant, the mighty Mr. Jamey Johnson..

Love him or hate him he is a powerhouse draw and brings in thousands of ticket holders, as today I noticed many what I call “One Bangers” that came this afternoon and weren’t here all weekend camping. Many of them either work or just don’t camp, however either way there was a giant spike in one day people I could tell.

The food vendors were strategically placed correctly I was impressed MANY festivals make that fatal sales mistake, this is a science and for those of you that KNOW what I mean you’ll agree with me. There’s a REASON for EVERYTHING I DO…there’s a REASON these three articles came out a week after the event. It all comes from my evil genius brain I have for this stuff, Gary Hayes knows what he’s doing, and he knows when to do it.

If ever there was indeed a modern day Highwaymen ambiance..this was IT. This was indeed the crown jewel of finales if I have ever witnessed one to any festival. He came out to “High Price Of Living” and “Heartache”. However after a few songs once again my complaint reigns true, the cover songs abounded as he did “Mama Tried” and “Long Time Gone”.

Not that they were poorly performed because they were not in any way poor. I was just wanting more original material form the folks I don’t always get to put everything down and go see weekly. He did a wonderful job on “That Lonesome song” , however the other complaint I had was not one song off his first album. The label treated him like shit and shelved that whole album, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he legally couldn’t play The Dollar. I can understand him being jaded toward that scenario for sure.

There was so much stellar material off that first album that could have replaced the covers and still made a terrific set lineup, however songs like “In Color” are obvious classics indeed, you cannot EVER take his accomplishments away. He is indeed one of the greatest songwriters alive today, whether you like pop country or not, honky tonk padonkadonk made him millions.

He played a very patriotic segment which included “America The Beautiful”  which included a BIG lights and lasers show, I’ll tell you what this company and all the sponsors get a REAL pat on the back from ME on this deal. There were NO expenses spared, not one dime was held back!

He played the George Strait classic song “Give It Away” which was on Honkytonkville album, followed by “Kicked Out Of Country” which he wrote with George Strait when they were indeed kicked out of Country. A genre both of them have paved the way for those that did the kicking.

THIS WAS what we WANT to show Music Row…that THIS MUSIC IS COMMERCIAL and we want it. You see folks those people don’t actually LIKE that shit on FM radio…it fills ARENAS. Not the Ryman, YES the Ryman is a BIG show for Mr. Cody, but it’s not big enough. WE MUST sell more seats as people.

Now you might ask yourself Gary , how the hell can one person do that? SHARE THIS ARTICLE, SHARE THE MUSIC…..TALK…TALK…TALK…SHARE WHATEVER BAND YOU LOVE. Support ME and others like me that report on this stuff. I cannot do this without YOU. Miss Kaeleigh is important to me, she’s a voice.

He closed with three more covers but his version of “I Saw The Light” was astounding in every fashion. And as I made my way back to the late night stage I began to wrap it up for Tumbleweed folks, I had a long night of travel ahead followed after a bunch of packing and sorting. I bought over 200 in merchandise so I had to gather up all that, All in All it was a pleasant time hosted by a remarkable crew. I want to THANK Miss Piper and Mr. Doug and Mr. Kevin for their invite and for hiring me.

I hope with all my heart I exceeded your expectations from a work standpoint, here are some pictures from the late night stage which included Damien Gunn whom I once again apologize to for missing their set.


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